Ground-breaking sustainable farming programme seeks next round of applicants

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Farmers are being urged to apply for a landmark three-year programme designed to help them identify how to make their businesses more sustainable.

Resilient & Ready was launched in 2019 by Corteva Agriscience and is facilitated by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming).

Farmers access free training, technical support, access to experts, mentoring and first use of innovative new crop protection and seed products as they learn what they can change and how to improve.

It has made an enormous impact on the four farms in Scotland and England which took part in the inaugural programme, helping to develop three farms to become LEAF Demonstration Farms while a fourth made huge strides in reducing its carbon footprint.

Will Sibly, Business Relationships coordinator at LEAF, said: “Since the programme’s launch we’ve witnessed many changes to the agricultural landscape. The Basic Payment Scheme is being phased out and the Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme is already underway.

“Farm profitability has come under huge pressure in the past 12 months too – building resilience has never been so important.

“Resilient & Ready acts as the blueprint for farmers everywhere transitioning to more sustainable farming methods through an integrated farm management approach. The first programme was an overwhelming success and we are now ready to welcome the next set of talented farmers.”

Access to people and expertise

The two selected farms will be given access to the people and the expertise to help them explore the areas of their business they feel can be built upon; environmental schemes, soil health, and biodiversity conservation for example.

LEAF will offer access to some of the best sustainability experts in the businesses, technical support, training, resources and one-to-one mentoring. Depending on suitability and priorities, participating farmers will also be supported to become LEAF Demonstration Farmers, LEAF Marque certified and be given state of the art communications training to provide them with the know-how, skills and confidence to go on to become industry leaders in sustainable farming.

Caroline McCartney, Resilient & Ready Programme Lead for Corteva, said: “Corteva has its own set of sustainability commitments, and one of which is to support UK agriculture by providing farmers with training and solutions to the issues they are experiencing.

“As farming changes, we want to work with the people implementing those improvements that make them more resilient for the future.

“The opportunity for the next Resilient & Ready cohort is to be at the forefront of sustainable farming, looking at how they can change their business for the better.”

Discovery events for farmers interested in applying will be held at Cambs Farms Growers, near Ely, Cambridgeshire, on 25 October, and at Great Wollaston Farm, near Shrewsbury in Shropshire, on 27 October.

Booking is live here

For Andy Bason of Newhouse Farm, Hampshire, Resilient & Ready has helped realise his ambition of engaging more with the public and sharing farmers’ incredible work with a wider audience.

He made significant changes to his farming practices and also embarked on an agroforestry project.

Andy said: “On the back of the training and knowledge we’ve had from LEAF and Corteva, it has given me a new-found confidence. The next chapter is about getting people onto the farm and showing them all the good work British farmers do.”

Claire Grant of C J Grant in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, said: “Expect to meet like-minded people willing to share and learn information. The entire programme will challenge your train of thought, processes and will provide a framework to explore every area of your farming practices to develop and improve upon year after year.”

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